Wilma Rudolph was born black in Jim Crow Tennessee. The twentieth of 22 children, she spent most of her childhood in bed suffering from whooping cough, scarlet fever, and pneumonia. She lost the use of her left leg due to polio and wore leg braces. With dedication and hard work, she became a gifted runner, earning a track and field scholarship to Tennessee State. In 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Her underdog story made her into a media darling, and she was the subject of countless articles, a television movie, children's books, biographies, and she even featured on a U.S. postage stamp. In this work, Smith and Liberti consider not only Rudolph's achievements, but also the ways in which those achievements are interpreted and presented as historical fact. Theories of gender, race, class, and disability collide in the story of Wilma Rudolph, and Smith and Liberti examine this collision in an effort to more fully understand how history is shaped by the cultural concerns of the present. In doing so, the authors engage with the metanarratives which define the American experience and encourage more complex and nuanced interrogations of contemporary heroic legacy.
For readers of The Boys in the Boat, the remarkable story of the unlikely Canadian hockey team that clinched Olympic gold in 1948
The announcement was shocking--Canada, the birthplace of hockey, would not be sending a team to the 1948 Winter Olympics in Switzerland. Outraged, a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron leader, Sandy Watson, quickly assembled a team of air force hockey players who were "amateur enough" to complete under the Olympic guidelines.
Sergeant Frank Boucher was recruited to coach the team and begin the cross-Canada search for players. Hubert Brooks, a decorated flying officer and serial escapist from POW camps, was another early recruit. Andy Gilpin joined from the RCAF base in Whitehorse, as did airmen from Quebec, the Maritimes and western Canada. And when their starting goalie, Dick Ball, didn't pass a medical exam, Murray Dowey was called up from his job as a TTC driver and occasional practice goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The ragtag team got off to a rough start, losing so many exhibition games that Canadian newspapers called them a disgrace to the country. But the RCAF Flyers battled back, and Boucher's defensive strategy paid off. They eliminated the American team, tied the Czech team and beat the Swiss as the hometown crowd pelted the Canadians with snowballs during the game. On the same ice where Barbara Ann Scott won a gold medal, the underdog RCAF Flyers also won Olympic gold, and their goalie, Murray Dowey, set an Olympic record that still stands.
Against All Odds is the inspiring untold story of a group of determined men, fresh from the battlefields of WWII, who surprised a nation and the world.
Those who avidly followed the on-court acrobatics and off-court celebrity of the "Dream Team" in Barcelona in 1992 would hardly recognize what passed as basketball fifty-six years earlier, when the United States first played the game in the 1936 Olympics. In those early days of men's Olympic basketball, many teams lacked basic skills, games were played in the pouring rain, only seven players could suit up, and the rules allowed only two substitutions and no time-outs. How this slow, low-scoring sport became the breakneck game that enraptures millions worldwide is the story of American Hoops. In this fascinating history of Olympic basketball on the world stage and behind the scenes, Carson Cunningham presents a kaleidoscopic picture of the evolution into the twenty-first century of one of America's most popular sports. From clashes between celebrated egos and thrilling action on the court to the intense rivalries of the Cold War and technological advances in everything from television to sports equipment off the court, American Hoops follows the fortunes of Olympic basketball, in the United States and internationally, as it developed and emerged as one of the most challenging and entertaining sports in the world. Cunningham traces how the modifications made by the International Olympic Committee and the International Basketball Federation have transformed the game of basketball over the years, from the Berlin to the Beijing Olympics. His book offers a remarkable view of the changing world through the prism of Olympic sport.
For over 1,000 years, between 776 BC and AD 395, people from all over the classical world flocked every four years to Olympia in Western Greece to see famous athletes compete for the olive crowns of the ancient Olympic Games. The Games were huge, and so was the build-up: virtually the whole of the preceding year was devoted to the preparations of the site and the athletes. But these games were much more than just a sporting event: religion, power, politics, scandal, and propaganda were all at the center of the five-day festival. Held in honor of Zeus, the supreme god of Greek mythology, a visit to Olympia was also a pilgrimage to his sacred temple. In this updated edition of her indispensable guide to the ancient Games, Judith Swaddling traces their mythological and religious origins. Describing the events, the sacred ceremony, and the celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival, this book paints a vivid picture of what it was like to be at these prestigious games. Concluding with a chapter on the modern Olympics that brings the story right up to the preparations for the London 2012 Games, this fascinating book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Olympics, the greatest games of them all.
IN 1936, Adolf Hitler welcomed the world to Berlin to attend the Olympic Games. It promised to be not only a magnificent sporting event but also a grand showcase for the rebuilt Germany. No effort was spared to present the Third Reich as the newest global power. But beneath the glittering surface, the Games of the Eleventh Olympiad of the Modern Era came to act as a crucible for the dark political forces that were gathering, foreshadowing the bloody conflict to come.
The 1936 Olympics were nothing less than the most political sporting event of the last century--an epic clash between proponents of barbarism and those of civilization, both of whom tried to use the Games to promote their own values. Berlin Games is the complete history of those fateful two weeks in August. It is a story of the athletes and their accomplishments, an eye-opening account of the Nazi machine's brazen attempt to use the Games as a model of Aryan superiority and fascist efficiency, and a devastating indictment of the manipulative power games of politicians, diplomats, and Olympic officials that would ultimately have profound consequences for the entire world.
For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys' own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man's personal quest.
For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken," the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics
"Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, "The Boys in the Boat "is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's "The Amateurs."
People think speaking truth to power is easy, but if it was easy everyone would do it. This book does it. . . . It speaks truth to the powers that be, from Brazil to the US to FIFA to the IOC. It hits you like an uppercut that rattles your brain and sets it straight. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.--John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalist
The people of Brazil celebrated when they learned that in the space of two years their country would host the world's two largest sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades.
Dave Zirin relies on fieldwork from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, exposing how sports and politics have collided in spectacular fashion. One of the Boston Globe's Best Sports Books of 2014, this edition has been newly updated to assess the final tally of debt and displacement that accompanied the 2014 World Cup, eyewitness accounts of the militarized police crackdown, and new reporting on the pre-Olympic plans furthering immiseration in cities across Brazil.
Dave Zirin is sports correspondent for the Nation magazine and the author of nine books on the intersection of sports and politics. Named one of UTNE Reader's 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World, Zirin is a frequent guest on MSNBC, ESPN, and Democracy Now He also hosts his own weekly Sirius XM show, Edge of Sports Radio.
The inspiring story of how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning--and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer.When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat's engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: she dove into the water. Surfacing, she heard desperate prayers and sobbing from the passengers in the sinking boat above her. Between the waves, her elder sister Sarah screamed at her to get back on the boat. But Mardini was determined. She was not going to let Sarah do this alone. Grabbing the rope with one hand, she began kicking up the black water, inching the boat towards the distant shore. This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro. Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that readers will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war. In today's political climate, this story is guaranteed to inspire and educate readers from every background.